Thursday, 2 October 2008

What is a mobile?

In the past it was easy to say that “mobile” meant a handheld phone. But this is not so simple now. Why is this relevant? Because schools are banning “mobiles”, which may be considered vital to many dyslexic individuals. At the very least, the mobile is being promoted for dyslexics as a tool to hold calendars, reminders, notes, dictionaries and the sound recorder. To have a blanked ban would be to remove this provision for dyslexic individuals.

Furthermore, with some netbooks now coming with built in Skype phones, the distinction is becoming blurred. Would they ban the netbooks as well?

The problem is not the technology, but the users. There are many solutions. But one is to insist on phones being stores in lockers (are there low cost microlockers to store phones and money?) while placing no restrictions on dyslexic individuals, provided they never used the phone for calls or SMS (or remove the SIM card).

There is no simple answer, but it is a problem that needs to be address if the dyslexic user is not to be disempowered once more.

Keywords: mobile phone, netbooks, storage

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